The city’s first responders were busy on New Year’s Eve, but said this year was a little better than last year, thanks to the quick action of vigilant neighbors.
“We got a pass,” said Honolulu Police Department deputy chief John McCarthy at a press conference. “With all the illegal fireworks, illegal aerials out there, there weren’t that many injuries or serious property damage.”
Police seized a rental van in Kaneohe last night as it appeared to be dropping off an unknown amount of illegal fireworks. Police reportedly cited two individuals and started a felony investigation.
Firefighters responded to a 2-acre brush fire up on the hills in Hawaii Kai, according to Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Scot Seguirant. An off-duty police officer saw a flare start the fire, officials said.
“We dodged a bullet,” said Seguirant. “We’re very thankful and our crews worked very hard to get ahead of that and we’re very fortunate.”
An unknown number of illegal aerials went off before, around and after midnight.
City Department of Emergency Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright said there were more than 160 calls between 6 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. today.
Enright also there were several serious, fireworks-related injuries last night. One man had to have fingers amputated, while another man who got nervous while setting off fireworks fell while running away and suffered a serious head injury. Another man set his garage on fire and suffered burns to his hands while trying to remove some of his belongings.